Developing agriculture in Wardak

The Central Highlands is an isolated, mountainous region in central Afghanistan, where a majority of the population are farmers who depend on available natural resources for their livelihoods.

 

In consortium with Solidarités International (SI) and GERES, MADERA is implementing a 42-month rural development project in the Central Highlands (Bamyan and Wardak provinces) promoting a sustainable development that combines the improvement of people’s living standards with the preservation of the natural resources.

 

Under this AFD funded action, MADERA is implementing activities aimed at improving people’s livelihoods through sustainable development. More specifically MADERA’s work focuses on sustainable agriculture, livestock management and natural resource management.

 

In Tanoor village (Behsud I district, Wardak province) MADERA has notably completed the construction of a micro-dam to increase the irrigation of neighbouring fields. In total 6 communities are benefitting from this construction. In order to ensure proper management of the water and maintenance of the structure, MADERA has also established a Water User Association. To avoid any conflict, this Association comprises of representatives of each community.

 

The micro-dam project site before (August 2015) and after completion of the work (May 2016). Communities can decide when to open or close the gate to decide to let the water irrigate their fields or not

 

By avoiding loss of water, the micro-dam offers farmers from neighbouring communities with additional available water to irrigate their crops. This will result in increased yields that will directly improve their livelihoods. Farmers will harvest higher quality fodder that will benefit their livestock as well as more vegetables and cereals thus improving their food security. Moreover, what is not consumed within the families can be sold on the market, providing beneficiary families with additional revenues.

 

Mohammad Ali, Agriculture Team Leader showing both side of the micro-dam. On the top of the dam a handle allows to open or close the small gate through which the water flows.

 

 

In Gardan Dewar village (Behsud I district, Wardak province), MADERA has established a demo farm that can be visited by anyone. Through this action, MADERA wants to show farmers that they can diversify their crops, and notably grow many kinds of vegetables (spinach, tomatoes, onions, squash, carrots, etc.) instead of only wheat and potatoes.

 

Mohammad Ali, Agriculture Team Leader, showing a beetroot he just harvested. This photo was taken in August when all vegetables are nearly ready to be harvested

 

Diversifying crops is essential to preserve the land and is beneficiary to the people. Indeed by growing vegetables the beneficiaries will diversify their diet and thus improve their nutrition. Moreover, what is not consumed within the household can also be sold on the market with an added value compared to traditional crops.

 

This demo farm is also used to carry out training sessions for the beneficiaries. All along the cultural season beneficiaries receive training on various topics covering the whole cultural season: preparation of soils, sowing technics, irrigation, disease control, harvest technics, etc.

 

Sultan Mohammad (left), Extension Worker, and Nasir Ahmad (right), Gardner, are irrigating the crops and taking care of the saplings. These pictures were taken in May a few days after the seeds have been sown